(Sports Network) - It seems the race for the Western Conference's top seed
will go down to the wire in a battle between the Oklahoma City Thunder and San
The Thunder look to take advantage of an idle Spurs club when they invade
Oakland Thursday night for a bout with the Golden State Warriors.
Oklahoma City is even with San Antonio for the top spot in the West and has
won seven of the last nine games, including a 90-80 victory at Utah on Tuesday
in the opener of a three-game road trip. Kevin Durant kept pace with Carmelo
Anthony for his fourth straight scoring title, finishing an assist shy of a
triple-double with 21 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists.
Russell Westbrook contributed 25 points and Serge Ibaka had 16 with eight
rebounds and five blocks for Oklahoma City, which is 24-15 on the road and
closing in on its third straight Northwest Division title. The Thunder are
three games ahead of the idle Denver Nuggets with four to play and hold the
tiebreaker with the Spurs.
"We had great intensity," said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "We came out with
the mindset of getting stops every time down the court and we did that."
The Thunder have won three in a row on the road and will wrap up their final
road trip of the regular season Friday at Portland. The Thunder are only 13-11
on the road against teams from the West as opposed to an 11-4 mark against
Eastern Conference foes.
In scoring title news, Durant (28.3 ppg) is right behind Anthony (28.6 ppg).
Golden State clinched its first playoff berth since 2006-07 and is coming off
Tuesday's 105-89 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves in the continuation
of a three-game homestand from Oracle Arena.
Klay Thompson poured in 30 points and Steph Curry registered a double-double
with 24 points and 10 assists for the Warriors, who got 15 points and 12
rebounds from double-double machine and All-Star forward David Lee. Harrison
Barnes had 15 and 10 in the win, Golden State's 10th in 14 tries.
"It means everything," said Curry on the team making the playoffs. "Just
listen to this crowd. You guys are the best fans in the NBA and you deserve
this as much as we do."
The Warriors are 27-12 at home and sit sixth in the West standings, one game
ahead of the idle Houston Rockets.
Golden State will close out the homestand versus the Thunder, who have
defeated the Warriors twice in three meetings this season. Oklahoma City is
12-4 in the past 16 matchups with the Warriors.
Oklahoma City has lost nine of 14 and 12 of its last 18 at Golden State.
The Sports Network